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Alson H. Blake papers, 1855-1921.
Blake, Alson H., 1841-1921.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 278  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Blake, Alson H., 1841-1921.
Title : Alson H. Blake papers, 1855-1921.
Physical Description : .5 linear ft.
Summary :

The papers contain letter-books, letters, diary excerpts and Civil War memoirs that belonged to Alson H. Blake of Milton, Vermont. Blake served in the 9th Vermont Volunteers from 1862 to 1865 and was imprisoned the last months of his service in Andersonville, Georgia. In a 1921 speech he recalls this ordeal. As a dispensary worker at Andersonville, he was able to compile a list of Vermonters who died there; a copy of this manuscript is in the collection.

The papers consist in large part of letter-books kept by Blake containing copies of letters received by him and his family between 1855 and 1865. Prior to his army service, the letters from family and friends concern local news and gossip. Wartime letters contain news from the home front and, while he was imprisoned, requests for information about Vermont soldiers at Andersonville.

Most of the letters in the papers were written to Blake by his father after Blake joined the army (1862-64). Chester Blake writes news of his family and the farm, as well as the Vermont war effort. The letters are transcriptions as are the few diary excerpts in the papers. The miscellaneous items include a photocopy of an 1871 Milton, Vermont, map with the Blake farm delineated and a photocopied portrait of Alson H. Blake, ca. 1920.

Biographical or historical data :

Alson H. Blake (1841-1921) was born in Milton, Vermont, the son of Chester A. Blake, a farmer, and his wife, Ann S. Blake. He studied bookkeeping in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1860.

Blake enlisted in the 9th Regiment of Vermont Volunteers, Company F on May 29, 1862 as a corporal. He was captured by rebel troops on February 2, 1864 and imprisoned in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was later transferred to Andersonville, Georgia, and finally released in April, 1865. He was mustered out on May 23, 1865. Blake wrote that only he of the nine men captured with him survived the terrible ordeal. During his imprisonment at Andersonville he was able, through his work in the dispensary, to compile a list of Vermont soldiers who died there.

Blake married Frances C. (Franky) Granger, the daughter of William and Lucy Granger, on September 21, 1865, and in 1867 they moved to Volga City, Iowa, where he established a dry goods store. The Blakes later moved to Manchester, Iowa, where he died in 1921

Personal Subject : Blake, Alson H., 1841-1921.
Blake, Chester A., b. 1817.
Corporate Subject : United States. Army. Vermont Infantry Regiment, 9th 1862-1965. Company F.
Andersonville Prison.
Subject Term : Farm life Vermont Milton.
Soldiers Vermont Correspondence.
Geographic Term : Milton (Vt.) Social life and customs.
Isle La Motte (Vt.) Social life and customs.
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Prisoners and prisons.
Vermont History Civil War, 1861-1865.
Genre/Form : Letter books.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.